It’s not entirely uncommon for an employer to inform a recently injured employee that workers' compensation does not apply due to independent contractor status. But how reliable is this claim? Are you really an independent contractor? Here are some of the ways that the state of Florida views accidents that happen on the job - and whether or not you can collect compensation.
Defining a Contractor
Contractors typically are paid differently than employees (through a set of terms or an independent contract). These workers also tend to work independently, and this often means that a contractor will not have the same paperwork as a full-time employee (a contractor may fill out a W-9 tax form, for example). Also, there is usually a start and end date when it comes to a contract.
So what defines an employee if a contractor fits the above terms? In most cases, employees work directly for the company that they are employed by and do not have separate contracts. While employees may have a contract with the company that they work for, these contracts are the same for all employees. Further, an employee does not have a start and end date, since these workers are expected to work full-time until a position is terminated.
How Can You Tell?
When you were hired for a certain position, what did you apply for? Did you apply for that position as an independent contractor? Or, were you hired by the company to work as a full-time employee? Knowing the difference between being a contractor and a full-time employee can also mean the difference between getting the compensation that you deserve, and not being able to make any kind of claim when injured on the job.
The Sticky Details
As you might imagine, there are all kinds of details that go into figuring out whether or not you can actually claim compensation. Since large companies and insurance companies do not want to pay for medical bills and time lost not working, it is often hard to claim full-time work status. However, not attempting to gain compensation for wages and time lost means that you may have to pay for medical bills yourself - and this isn’t always fair.
If you have been injured on the job and you’ve been told that you do not qualify for compensation, it’s important that you speak to a qualified attorney as soon as possible. Our goal at the Dellutri Law Firm is to make sure that you gain the compensation that you need to focus on getting better without worrying about whether or not you are a full-time worker or contractor. Call us today for a completely FREE case evaluation.